Cystopteris utahensis

Cystopteris utahensis Windham & Haufler
(of Utah, where the type specimen was collected)

Local names: Utah bladder fern

Similar to C. reevesiana; usually on rocks; rhizomes with relatively short internodes, with dark brown scales, but without hairs; leaves clustered at tip of rhizome, monomorphic, to 45 cm long; petioles green to straw-colored or darker near base; rachis and costae with sparse glandular pubescence (multicellular glandtipped hairs particularly in axils of costae—use high magnification) and sometimes with misshapen bulblets; leaf blades 2-pinnate-pinnatifid, deltate to often narrowly so, widest at or near base, apically short attenuate, the ultimate segments serrate; indusia with scattered glandular hairs; 2n = 168 (Haufler et al. 1993). Crevices and ledges of limestone cliffs; known in TX only from Culberson Co. (Warnock 23174, SRSC, paratype; Warnock 12000, BRIT, TEX-LL, McKittrick Canyon; Johnston et al. 1071, Correll & Hanson 29816, Riskind 1050, all TEX-LL); AZ, CO, TX, and UT; also reported from NM (Roth 2001) without location; endemic to the U.S. Sporulating summer–fall. This species is an allotetraploid derived from diploid parents, C. bulbifera and C. reevesiana (Haufler & Windham 1991); it is somewhat intermediate in morphology between the two. It should thus not be surprising that there is sometimes difficulty in distinguishing C. utahensis from C. reevesiana The situation is further complicated by the fact that sterile triploid hybrids are known between C. utahensis and C. reevesiana (Haufler et al. 1993). The leaves widest at or near base, sparse glandular pubescence, and bulblets lacking or misshapen are helpful in identification of C. utahensis. In addition, the tetraploid C. utahensis often has somewhat larger sori than do the diploids C. bulbifera and C. reevesiana. Because of its limited distribution in the state, we consider this species to be of conservation concern in TX.

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